September 9, 2010

Here is some important information from Dave Berg of Reinders, Inc. It is about the 'stop sale' order on PCNB just before the snow mold season.

In the past 72 hours, the professional turf industry has been made aware of an alarming situation regarding the availability of Amvac's PCNB fungicide. The attached letter from Amvac dated 9-7-10 describes the current situation regarding the EPA's 'Stop Sale' order on PCNB. In short, PCNB is not available today from Amvac and most likely will not be available for the 2010 fall season without a sudden and unexpected reversal by the EPA. Amvac already sought emergency injunctive relief in federal court over the weekend and was denied.

This stop sale order refers only to Amvac and the PCNB products is their possession. Current PCNB inventories of distributors, dealers, and end-users is not affected and may be sold and applied this fall. Per Amvac, virtually the entire 2010 season's new inventory for all U.S. distribution is still on the docks and can not be shipped. This action has caught everyone by surprise and needless to say all distributors are vigorously weighing options to replace PCNB and deliver cost-effective solutions for the industry.

We will share any new developments as they become known.

Dave Berg

Business Mgr

Reinders, Inc.


Here is the letter from AMVAC, makers of PCNB.

September 7, 2010
To: Terraclor, Turfcide and ParFlo Customers - United States
Re: PCNB – Stop Sale

Dear Valued Customers:

As you may have read from our press releases, last month the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a stop sale order with respect to our PCNB product line within the United States on the ground that our product contained a trace impurity that is not listed on our confidential statement of formula (CSF). We were shocked and surprised at the order, as it was issued without any advance warning just as our main selling season was starting and related to an impurity about which we had notified the agency nearly 20 years ago.

By way of background, under FIFRA for each registered compound, a registrant is required to list in its CSF all components that either (i) constitute at least 0.1% (1 part per 1,000) of the compound or (ii) are determined by EPA to be of toxicological significance. In 1993, we informed EPA that our PCNB manufacturing process yielded a trace impurity. It was unclear then (as now) whether this impurity had to be listed on a CSF. The agency took that information without further comment. In 1998 and then again in 2005, that agency approved our CSF for PCNB without making mention of any of the trace impurity. Last June, we engaged in discussions with USEPA about our CSF with a focus on impurities and embarked upon what we thought would be a mutual effort to assess purity levels, manufacturing processes and our CSF disclosure.
Without furnishing any technical analysis, notice or opportunity to explain our position, the agency stopped sale of our product in August. Bear in mind that the stop sale order did not include any contention that our product poses any risk to health or the environment. Indeed we are talking about an impurity of less than 10 parts per billion or 0.000001%. We promptly called for meetings with USEPA to hammer out an informal resolution, but quickly determined that the matter had been effectively handed off to government lawyers.

In the interest of protecting our business and saving our season, we filed a motion for emergency
relief from the stop sale with the federal court arguing, among other things, that the issuance of the order amounted to the taking of our property without due process. Last Thursday, however, that court denied our motion. In making his ruling, the judge noted that although the agency’s actions were troubling and Amvac had been treated unfairly, the agency was legally permitted to take this action.

At this stage, we plan to amend our CSF and work as expeditiously as possible with USEPA to get this stop sale removed. We will also continue down the path of further litigation, as we continue to believe that the order is an abuse of process. However, there is no guarantee that the agency (or a court) will work through this issue in less than four months (which they are permitted under applicable law). As a result, we are not confident that we will be able to ship product to our customers in time for turf application in the late Fall and Winter of 2010. We sincerely apologize in advance if we are unable to supply your needs in time for your application. Nevertheless, we thought it best to give you ample time to protect your business interests as we work on this matter. We will, of course, keep you apprised of material developments as we learn of them.

Thank you for your understanding and support. We look forward to continuing to serve you when this storm passes. For your reference, we are also including a copy of our latest press release on the subject. If you have questions on the continuing status of this matter, please contact Jeff Alvis at 817.742.7423. If you would like us to send this note to anyone else in your organization, please contact Glen Anderson at 888.462.6822.


Nick Christians Professor

Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Dr. Christians received his B.S. from the Colorado State University ...